Category Archives: Caribbean Plus Lit News

Literary news of interest from the Caribbean and wider world

Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late January 2023)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here – credit and link back if you use).

Arts and Culture

Commonwealth Writers – the entity behind the Commonwealth short story competition, the Adda platform and various developmental initiatives (some of which – e.g. publication in Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean, participation in the Aye Write literary festival, participation in a writing workshop and, coming out of that, a reading and this article commission, the Carib Lit editing workshop and the reading at Moray House in Guyana, publication on the Adda platform, – I’ve benefited from) has changed its name to Commonwealth Foundation Creatives on account of it being no longer just about writers but about creative practitioners from all disciplines. You can follow them on twitter, facebook, and instagram. (Source – creatives@commonwealthfoundation.com email)

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Tropical Arts is a new online marketplace and gathering spot for artists, creatives, photographers, and collectors. Operating out of Curacao, it invites registration broadly from creatives in the Caribbean and the diaspora. “The site’s goal is to support the livelihoods of the creative community as well as to rewards collectors with works (both digital and physical), digital assets, and storytelling that illuminates the rich culture and traditions of the region.” (Tropical Arts) Once signed in, artists can create an account and upload digital works. “You can spotlight any of your works and we’ll pay for the minting so you can show them off as NFTs. Or you can list them for sale in the marketplace.” (promotional artist email) This is strictly For Your Information; please do your due diligence – especially as I am not knowledgeable about non-fungible tokens (though the site includes a FAQ that explains all that) – and ensure you understand fully what you are signing up for. (Source – promotional artist email)

Accolades

“Rashad Hosein has won the 2022 NGC Bocas Youth Writer Award, which comes with a cash prize of TT $5,000, sponsored by the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited. The announcement was made on Saturday 7 January at an award ceremony honouring the young finalists for the award, hosted at The Writer’s Centre by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest.

The 24-year old author was selected as the winner from four finalists, with his short fictional work “Saga”. Hosein has already established himself as an writer to watch, after winning the John Steinbeck Award for Fiction last year from Reed Magazine. He has also been a finalist for the BCLF Elizabeth Nunez Award for Caribbean Writers, was longlisted for the Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize, and shortlisted twice for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2019 and 2021.

Launched in 2021, the NGC Bocas Youth Writer Award recognises and celebrates young authors of T&T birth or citizenship, aged 25 and younger.” (Source – Bocas email)

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A Caribbean writer has again won the T S Eliot Prize (the last was Roger Robinson in 2019). “Anthony Joseph has won the TS Eliot prize for his collection Sonnets for Albert, described as “luminous” by the judges. Joseph takes the £25,000 poetry prize, which this year saw a record 201 submissions.” (The Guardian) “Sonnets for Albert, which was shortlisted for the Forward prize for best collection last year, is an autobiographical collection that weighs the impact of growing up with a largely absent father.” Joseph is an accomplished poet who has published five poetry collections and eight albums to critical acclaim and awards recognition. The Trinidad and Tobago born Joseph is resident in the United Kingdom. The T S Eliot Prize is named for one of the 20th centuries greatest poets who was a founding member of the Poetry Book Society which started the prize now run by the T S Eliot Foundation. Derek Walcott, a Nobel Laureate, of St. Lucia became the first non-white and explicitly Caribbean writer (previous winners having come from Ireland, England, the US, Scotland, Canada, and Australia). He won in 2010, 17 years after the prize was launched. Robinson, UK of Trinidad and Tobagian ancestory, followed, and now Joseph.

(Source – various on Facebook)

Books and Other Reading Material

Volume 36 of The Caribbean Writer, Disruptions, Disguises and Illuminations, was released in December 2022. “Volume 36 is an imaginative collection of creative expressions from among the best writers within the region and its diaspora,” said editor Alscess Lewis-Brown. “The many permutations of this year’s theme make for a very powerful chorus of Caribbean voices.” This issue’s prize winners are: Monique Clendenin Watson (Daily News Prize for a US or British Virgin Islands author), USVI writer Eliot Richards (The Canute A. Brodhurst Prizefor best short fiction for “Dying of the Light”), USVI writer Shawna K. Richards (The Marvin E. Williams Literary Prize for “I Think About Water A Lot”), Barbadian poet Winston Farrell (The Cecile deJongh Literary Prize to a Caribbean author whose work best expresses the spirit of the Caribbean for “A Notion of Cricket”), and Trinidadian short story Otancia Noel (The Vincent Cooper Literary Prize to a Caribbean author for exemplary writing in Caribbean Nation Language for “Muslimean Memory”).

Gail Widmer who is based in St. Croix is the cover artist with her piece “After the Storm”.

The theme for the next issue, due to be published in 2024, is “Legacy: Reckoning and Repair”. (Source – N/A)

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“Happy New Year”, a poem by Joanne C. Hillhouse, published in the latest issue of Catholic journal Dappled Things, has been added to the database of journalled writing by Antiguan and Barbudan writers. and listing of published poetry on Jhohadli, where it can be read. (Source – Twitter)

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Bookstagrammer If this is Paradise in Jamaica is now a published author with the inclusion of her essay “From the Omen to Saint Maud: A Black Queer Revelation” in Divergent Terror: At the Crossroads of Queerness and Horror (Off Limits Press). “I explore the different relationships I had with two Catholic horror films at two different points in my life: The Omen when I was a child and Saint Maud as an adult,” she posted. If this is Paradise – actual name Akilah or Kiki – is a freelance critic currently leading the Reading Jamaica Kincaid | Akilah | Substack as reported before in Carib Lit Plus. (Source – Kiki on instagram)

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Book of Cinz‘s January 2023 newsletter, in addition to listing her January – March 2023 book club picks (Neruda on the Park by CLeyvis Natera of the Dominican Republic, Things I have Withheld by Kei Miller of Jamaica, and River sing me Home by Eleanor Shearer, who is a British writer of Caribbean descent), she lists several 2023 Read Caribbean releases.

The listed books include Trinidad and Tobago writers Kevin Jared Hosein’s Hungry Ghosts, Lesley-ann Brown’s BlackGirl on Mars, The God of Good Looks by Breanne McIvor, and When the Vibe is Right by Sarah Dass; Afro-Puerto Rican Jennifer Maritza McCauley’s When Trying to Return Home; St. Vincent descended Brit Alexis Keir’s Windward Family: An Atlas of Love, Loss and Belonging; Soraya Palmer’s The Human Origins of Beatrice Porter and Other Essential Ghosts, said to be a Brooklyn-based coming of age story of two Jamaican-Trinidadian sisters; Guadeloupean legend Maryse Conde’s The Gospel According to the New World; Camille Hernández-Ramdwar’s multi-country collection Suite as Sugar: and Other Stories; Lorraine Avila’s The Making of Yolanda la Bruja; Jamaican Safiya Sinclair’s memoir How to say Babylon; Queen of Exile, a Haitian narrative by Vanessa Riley; Dominican writer Elizabeth Acevedo’s Family Lore; Jamaican folktale River Mumma by Zalika Benta-Reid and Donna Heman’s House of Pain.

The book club next meets on January 25th. (Source – Book of Cinz’s newsletter)

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Brenda Lee Browne who is a British born Antiguan writer and former Wadadli Pen judge was one of the editors of the Commonwealth Writers Speak Out! series alongside Peter Sipeli of Fiji, Rifat Munim of Bangladesh, and Beatrice Lamwaka of Uganda. Speak Out! has four issues consisting of poems and creative fiction and non-fiction from around the Commonwealth. The theme broadly is freedom of expression. The Caribbean writing included in the editions (of which I’ve at this writing read three of the four) include Jamaicans Nadine Tomlinson, Topher Allen and Lloyd D’Aguilar, Dominican Lisa Latouche, Shanette Monrose, Belizean Calpernia Nicole Charles, Guyanese Hannah Singh, and Tobagonian Lynette Hazel. Browne is credited as the editor of Speak Out! 3 and says in her editorial, “The beauty of storytelling is that it speaks to us as humans—people, no labels—as we all carry stories that we would like to share.” You can read my thoughts on 1, 2, and 3 in the Jhohadli Blogger on Books series. I haven’t read the 4th and final installmetn as yet. (Source – N/A)

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Barbara Arrindell who is a local book retailer and author, in addition to being a Wadadli Pen director, is interviewed by Carol Mitchell of Caribbean Reads publishing in her Book Club column in Inter Caribbean Airways’ Cacique magazine.

She talks about the book industry, the arts, and her own writing. The column also recommends three books by Caribbean authors – the Machel Montano biography King of Soca, Sharma Taylor’s acclaimed novel What a Mother’s Love don’t teach You, and children’s book The Coquies Still Sing. (Source – Carol Mitchell on Instagram)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, The Business, Wadadli Pen News

Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late November 2022)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here – credit and link back if you use).

Accolades

Selvyn Walter, Antiguan and Barbudan politician-writer-art-collector-and-pan-booster, who died in 2020, received a Sunshine Award posthumously for his support of the performing arts. It was presented November 26th during Moods of Pan, a premier local pan festival, which was live this year for the first time since the pandemic. Daily Observer reported that the award was partly in recognition of his founding role in Halcyon Steel Orchestra and was meant to have been presented at the multi-panorama winning band’s 50th anniversary, in 2021, but was delayed due to the pandemic. (Source – Daily Observer by Newsco)

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Caribbean Reads author Danielle Y C Mclean’s The Whisperer’s Warning has been named winner of this year’s Bocas Children’s Book Prize. The book, illustrated by Rachel Moss, is a sequel to her Burt award winning The Protector’s Pledge.

The Trinidad born US based author’s book is “a juvenile fantasy novel which draws on TT folklore…packed with exciting and dramatic plot twists, taking readers into the shadowy world of characters such as Papa Bois, La Diablesses, jumbies, and douens, harmonising reality, myth, and imagination” (TT Newsday). The prize is in its second year. The winner takes home US$1000. (Source – Caribbean Reads on instagram)

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Musgrave medals have been handed out to 10 Jamaicans including writers Diana McCaulay and Geoffrey Philp.

(source of images – the one in the middle is from Twitter and the flanking ones are from Annie Paul’s Facebook)

Gold medallists are, per the Jamaica Observer, McCaulay (author, Daylight Come etc.), Lenford Salmon (actor, Third World Cop etc.), and Joy Spence (chemist).
Silver medallists are Philp (author, Garvey’s Ghost etc.), Kevin Jackson (animator), Eric Garraway (entomologist).
Bronze medallists are Safiya Sinclair (author, Cannibal), Patrick Brown (playwright), and Susan Koenig (biologist).
David Salmon received the youth medal award for advocacy and leadership.

Launched in 1889, the Musgrave medals are named forAnthony Musgrave, a former governor of Jamaica and founder of the Institute of Jamaica. (Source – social media – twitter and facebook)

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The Lionfish Derby has emerged as a creative solution to the problem of the invasive marine species in Antigua’s waters. In addition to the catch, there is also a competition for student artists. In the 14 – 18 category, 14-year-old Xezlaina Looby won, and in the nine to 13 age category Summer Goodwin won.

The winners attend the Christ the King High School. (Source – Daily Observer by Newsco)

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The winner of Antigua’s got Talent, a creative arts showcase and fundraiser, which raised EC$15,000+ for PAAWS animal shelter, is Stephen Gore who performed Tian Winter’s “In de Dance”. (Source – Daily Observer by Newsco/Antigua)

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Euzhan Palcy (director of Sugar Cane Alley and Dry White Season) collected the Governor’s Award from Viola Davis on behalf of the Motion Picture Association of America, an award previously announced in our early to mid September 2022 Carib Lit Plus bulletin. Two students from schools in Martinique – one from a school named for her – were present at the awards ceremony, to bear witness to this native daughter’s moment of glory. While doing so with gratitude, she also called out Hollywood for its diversity issues (being told “Black is not bankable, female is not bankable, Black and female are not bankable”- still ongoing. “I was tired of being the first of too many firsts but denied the chance to make the movies I (felt) compelled to make,” Palcy said. The award she said encourages her “to raise my voice again, to offer you movies of all genres that I always wanted to make in my own way.”

(Source – YouTube)

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A number of awards were given out in November by the Antigua and Barbuda Gospel Music and Media Awards, its 8th iteration of this awards programme. The Daily Observer by Newsco picked up three of those awards – media of the year, regional media of the year, and a legacy award for longevity.

All winners can be viewed here and you can read about the awards programme here. While I didn’t see it on the main list, there is also reporting of the ABGMMA presenting an award to social media influencer J’Truth in the name of late (since his death in 2002) journalist, Leonard Tim Hector – a local pioneer in investigative journalism and unbridled criticism, with his newspaper Outlet and its “Fan the Flame” column penned by him often shaking the table and receiving the backlash that can come with that (see the Antigua and Barbuda media history post on this site). That Hector’s family did not give permission for the use of his name in this way became obvious when they condemned the award of the Leonard Tim Hector Impact Award for Social Activism to JTruth. The Leonard Tim Hector Memorial Committee which already awards a prize in Hector’s name with the endorsement of the family co-signed this condemnation. The public has been weighing in on the suitability of the award recipient (Ameen Dias who has become popular for his controversial vlogs), especially given the association with Hector’s name, but what I’m curious about, simply because as a literary and arts space we are always trying to empower ourselves (and the various creators who come here) with knowledge, is IP issues around the use of Hector’s name (any lawyers in the comments?). (Source – Daily Observer newspaper & Facebook)

Movies

As you’ll see below, two Caribbean films, The Fab 4 and Deep Blue, the latter by Antiguan and Barbudan filmmakers, are having their regional debut at Montserrat’s Alliougana Festival of the Word. And then there is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The international blockbuster’s M’Baku, Winston Duke of Tobago, graces the cover of the latest edition of Esquire magazine.

He said on Facebook, “It has always been a dream of mine to grace the cover of especially esquire magazine! Growing up, being an esquire man was the epitome of style and masculine refinement. Dramatic, yet assured … being able to see myself on this is literally a dream come true! I dedicate this to my mom, Cora Pantin, whose love, guidance & prayers sowed the seeds. Though she isn’t here to see her son grow to this today.” You can read the Esquire article here. Excerpt:

‘As an island kid, he missed warm weather. Rochester was cold, and Americans were colder. “I come from a culture where people are warm-blooded, warm culture. When they talk, sometimes they talk real close to you. Americans feel entitled to space.”’

Also learned, reading the article of the death of his mother at 66, quite suddenly, quite recently. RIP Mama Coco. (Source – Winston Duke on Facebook)

Books & Other Reading Material

From Hansib, another 2022 release: Joe Solomon and the Spirit of Port Mourant. Port Mourant is a sugar plantation from the Berbice district of Guyana, and Solomon, who, at 92, is the oldest living West Indian Test cricketer, is one of three Windies 1960s players (the others being Rohan Kanhai and Basil Butcher) it produced. He played for Windies 27 times between the late 50s and early 60s. The book is written by academic Clem Seecharan with assistance from Ian McDonald (author of The Hummingbird Tree). (Source – Facebook)

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The Bookseller reports, “Picador signs first prose collection by Linton Kwesi Johnson”. The collection, Time Come: Selected Prose will be published in April 2023. “The publication brings together his book and record reviews published in newspapers and magazines, lectures, obituaries and speeches, spanning five decades.” Johnson is a Jamaica-born, Britain-based dub poet and activist. (Source – JRLee email)

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Dominica born and raised, in Vieille Case, Kisma Panthier-Jn Pierre, resident in Antigua and Barbuda where she is now building the MJP Academy, along All Saints Road, has announced the publication of My 10 Year Blue Print Journal: |A Journal that helps 10-16 year olds to create their future.

This journal is a part of the My 10-Year Blue Print Motivation Journey offered by Kisma which includes guidance and coaching in the form of videos, text, and live sessions. Your child or teen is not alone on this journey and for the next 100 days after starting this program, Kisma will be with them every step of the way. November 18th 2022 is listed on Amazon as the publication date and, per her linkedin, Jn Pierre is offering a special rate for the book, with coaching , through to November 28th 2022. This is not her first publishing experience. In 2021, she was part of an anthology Unleash Your Undeniable Impact: A Compilation of Messages to inspire You to maximize Your Impact on the World presented by Les Brown and Dr. Cheryl Wood. (Source – Kisma Panthier-Jn Pierre on linkedin)

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Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters Issue 22 is out. It is a special Bermuda bienniel dispatch including the likes of Yesha Townsend and Nancy Anne Miller of Bermuda. There is also a new edition of Sky Words, the Moko podcast. (Source – Moko magazine email)

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The Speak Out! series on the Commonwealth Writers Adda platform. This is four issues strong with different editors from around the Commonwealth including Antigua and Barbuda’s Brenda Lee Browne. The stories and poems selected for the collection were submitted in response to “a call for submissions related to Freedom of Expression and its wider subthemes of gender, LGBTQIA+, race/ethnicity, and politics among others.” I have posted reviews to issues 1 and 2 of Adda (and full disclosure submitted to and was rejected by the selectors for Speak Out!). (Source – me)

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Three recent Papillote titles are Still Standing: The Ti Kais of Dominica by Adom Philgene Heron with photographs by Marica Honychurch, Black Man Listen by Kathy Casimir Maclean, and A Scream in the Shadows by Mac Donald Dixon. Papillote Press is a small, independent publishing house specialising in books about Dominica and the wider Caribbean. From observation, Dixon’s book especially has been getting a fair amount of critical attention including from Bookends in the Jamaica Observer where the three-time novelist was described as “arguably one of the Caribbean’s most versatile writers” and A Scream in the Shadows as “a timely novel that will strike a chord with readers.” (Source – N/A)

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Antiguan and Barbudan artist Zavian Archibald has illustrated another of Harper Collins’ Big Cat children’s books. She previously illustrated Turtle Beach written by Antiguan and Barbudan writer Barbara Arrindell and now Jumbled by British writer Jasmine Richards. It’s the story of Baccoo, a character from Guyanese folklore, which may have originated from Yoruba culture, infiltrating a classroom in the UK

(Source – various)

Events

Caribbean artists Diana McCaulay of Jamaica and Kendel Hippolyte of St. Lucia are (at this writing) scheduled to participate in Art and Climate Justice: Reimagining the Future, a critical conversation bringing together artists and activists from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific to discuss the power and importance of art to the global conversation on climate change. It’s on November 29th 2022. Register here. & we’ve seen climate activists targetting art but art was also used to illuminate the issues.

e.g. this mural by Indian artist Shilo Shiv featuring climate campaigners from the Amazon, Uganda, and Pakistan. – “the stories we tell and the cultures we create is ultimately what shifts public opinion.”

e.g. this mural by Painot, a young illustrator from Peru; it spotlights people from different professions resisting the fossil fuel industry.

(Source – Commonwealth Foundation email)

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The Alliougana Festival of the Word kicked off in Montserrat on November 17th 2022. Here are some scenes from their opening parade.

Activities between November 17 and 19 listed below:

Two Antiguan and Barbudan films are being screened on movie night, Yemoja’s Anansi, a short by Christal Clashing as mentioned above and HAMA’s Deep Blue.

(Source – AFW on Facebook)

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Two music events have crossed my timeline. One is Burna Boy announced for December 17th at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium, Antigua (on the heels of mixed reports out of Dominica about the costs associated with booking such a high profile international artiste) and the other is part of the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra play out series, with guest violinist Braimah Kanneh-Mason.

Braimah is part of the renowned Kanneh-Mason clan out of the UK – the patriarch of which has Antiguan roots. (Source – Facebook)

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The Moray House Trust’s 2022 programme will close with two events to commemorate Guyanese writers Martin Carter and Edgar Mittelholzer. Every December they feature the work of Martin Carter who died on 13th December 1997. This year the plan is to focus on Carter’s Poems of Affinity. This year, the finale of the Chapter & Verse series will be dedicated to the work of Edgar Mittelhozer, who was born on 16th December 1909. The call goes out to anyone who has a favourite poem from Poems of Affinity or a favourite passage (or poem) by Mittelholzer and would like to read, should email Morayhousetrust@gmail.com by Friday 18th November. They will record the readings by Zoom from 21st – 25th November. (Source – the Nature Island Literary Festival on Facebook)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Wadadli Pen Trending (November 7th 2022 minus 30)

I’m prompted by this trending post on my Jhohadli blog to do a check in here to see what’s been trending for the past month here on the blog (where the last what’s trending post was at the end of September and January before that). As is my usual with these posts, this is mostly a way of boosting posts you may have missed. Also, as Antigua and Barbuda is now coming out of Independence season (Independence being November 1st – Happy 41st anniversary), I’m curious to see what the season has wrought as there’s usually an interest in cultural content in the build-up to the big day.

(Pictured is one of our Independence awardees. See the latest Carib Lit Plus for more)


Over the last 30 days, the top trending posts and pages here on the Wadadli Pen blog 1-10 have been.

1- “Nobody go run me” (lyrics)

2 – Antiguan and Barbudan Poetry

3 – Commonwealth Short Story Prize Reminder, Judges Announcement

4 – Antiguan and Barbudan Cultural Icon – Paul King Obstinate Richards

5 – About WADADLI PEN

6 – Antigua and Barbuda’s Other-Other-Other ‘Anthem’

7 – Wadadli Youth Rally

8 – Antiguan and Barbudan Writings

9 – Land of Democracy (lyrics)

10 – Antigua and Barbuda Children’s Literature

It makes sense to me. 1, 6, and 9 are part of the Wadadli Pen project to build a song lyrics data base and are patriotic songs (fit for the season). 7 is Independence specific – youth rally being one of the top seasonal events – only this post is from 2015. But as I myself was looking for youth rally pictures even though I attended, I understand. It also makes sense that the search for nationalistic content will have people rifling through the literary database – 2, 8, 10, including artist profiles – 4. Also Wadadli Pen is a literary resource and the Commonwealth short story comp (3) had a November 1 deadline; hope there are many submissions from Antigua and Barbuda.

If you were searching 5, looking for information on Wadadli Pen generally, thanks for your interest and you’re welcome to reach out via wadadlipen@gmail.com with any questions or to support our work in any way.

Finally, an FYI re my next Jhohadli Writing Project:

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, Wadadli Pen News

Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late October 2022)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here – credit and link back if you use).

Art and Culture

Check the database of Antiguan and Barbudan Writings if you haven’t already and one of the sub-lists, Non-Fiction Antiguan and Barbudan Books, both just updated with a missed credit of a Natasha Lightfoot publication. Speaking of Professor Lightfoot was one of the voices called to weigh in recently after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Here she is on NPR.

“The Commonwealth, as a collective of former colonized nations, represents a kind of strength-in-numbers approach. To postcolonial statecraft, it fosters collective trade agreements. It, you know, encourages collective climate solutions. But it should be said that these member countries, as a conglomerate of mostly developing nations, need these collective solutions provided by the Commonwealth in part because of the centuries of extractive colonialism.”

(Source – Natasha Lightfoot on Twitter)

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Jhohadli’s art and culture column CREATIVE SPACE which runs this and every other Wednesday in the Daily Observer newspaper on October 19th 2022 features three Antiguan and Barbudan lyricists, composers, singers, players Laikan, Joy Lapps, and Asher Ottos’s latest releases.

Read about it. (Source – me)

Events

The Bocas UK Tour continues to November 3rd 2022. The October 29th 2022 events will be available for viewing online for free. To access go to the British Library ticketing and use the discount code  BOCASDIGI100. Programme highlights for Saturday include Ways in the World featuring Barbara Jenkins, Ira Mathur, and Grace Nichols; The Trouble with History featuring Cecil Browne, Ingrid Persaud, and Amanda Smyth; An Island is a World featuring Celeste Mohammed, Jacob Ross, and Celia Sorhaindo; Don’t call it Magic featuring Ayanna Lloyd Banwo, Karen Lord, and Pauline Melville; Mothers, Fathers, Daughters, Sons featuring Sophie Jai, Anthony Joseph, and Shivanee Ramlochan; and Beyond every Boundary featuring Canisia Lubrin, Tessa McWatt, and Nadifa Mohammed. There is a grand finale includes the performance of songs from Playboy of the West Indies: a Musical, adapted from Mustapha Matura’s original play, as long as presentations by Grace Nichols, Fred D’Aguiar, Shivanee Ramlochan, John Agard, Randolph Matthews, and Melanie Abrahams. (Source – Literary Arts Barbados/Ayesha Gibson-Gill email)

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Motion Picture Association Antigua & Barbuda.

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The University of Iowa’s International Writers Program will celebrate International Creole Day, on October 28th at 6:00 p.m. CDT, with a special reading: Rasanbleman Literè Kreyòl / World Creole Literature Gathering. Creole writers from countries around the world—including Jamaica (Dr. Donna Aza Weir-Soley) and Haiti (Jeanie Bogart, Patrick Sylvain, Jean Dany Joachim, Wilson Maceno, Jean-Andre Constant, Lokandya Fenelon) —will give readings in Kreyòl, live via Facebook. The event will be cohosted by Haitian journalist, novelist, and scholar Beaudelaine Pierre, whose debut novel Testaman was awarded the 2002 Prix Woman Kreyòl Jounal Bon Nouvèl, and IWP Director Christopher Merrill. (Source – IWP email)

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The Beniba Centre for Slavery Studies at University of Glasgow has announced that Antiguan-American historian Professor Natasha J. Lightfoot will deliver the 7th Annual James McCune Smith Lecture, set for 7pm on 17 November. Register to watch online. (Source – Natasha Lightfoot on Twitter)

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Late October to early November is Independence season in Antigua and Barbuda, the home country of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize. We became independent on November 1st 1981 making this our 41st anniversary of Independence. Full programme below.

(Source – Ministry of Creative Industries and Innovation on facebook)

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These are some scenes from the inaugural Louise ‘Miss Lou’ Bennett-Coverley Festival was held on Saturday (October 15) in Gordon Town, St. Andrew. Named for the late Jamaican poet and activist who popularized folk storytelling and use of the local vernacular in said storytelling, the festival formed part of Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence. The festival was organized by Jamaican writer Opal Palmer Adisa who in 2021 edited a book entitled 100+ Voices for Miss Lou: Poetry, Tributes, Interviews, Essays (pictured in the collage above; one of Ms. Lou’s books is pictured below).

Opal is quoted by the Jamaica Information Service as saying, “At a time, under colonial rule, when Jamaican language, Jamaican culture, and ‘Jamaicanism’ wasn’t respected, Miss Lou stood steadfast, and that is why we are here. I am here… because I want to make sure every Jamaican child understands the work that Miss Lou has done and that we continue to salute her and study her work, not in a one dimensional way, but in the nuance and multiple ways that Miss Lou wrote. She was a tremendous writer.”

If you’re Caribbean, not just Jamaican, you’ve likely heard if not read Ms. Lou. Do you have a favourite? (Source – various, online)

Accolades

The Bocas Lit Fest Children’s Book Prize has announced a long list below:

Children of the Sun: Caribbean Stories for Children (published by Frontline distribution International) by Eintou Pearl Springer (of Trinidad and Tobago), illustrations by Clinton A. Hutton

I write Rhymes: a Novel (published by 123 Mango Tree LLC) by Nadine Johnson (of jamaica)

The Land Below (published by JAV Publishing) by Aarti Gosine

Petra and The Pan Man’s Daughter by Philip Simon, illustrations by Lindell Lara

The Whisperer’s Warning by Danielle Y. C. McClean

Zo and The Forest of Secrets by Alake Pilgrim

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ABS TV’s director of news, Garfield Burford, originally of Jamaica but resident in Antigua and Barbuda, is in the US participating in the State Department funded International Visitor Leadership Programme, specifically the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists. Burford was nominated by the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, as was Barbados-based Stetson Babb.

Deputy Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy Bridgetown, Simone Kendall poses with Garfield Burford following a meeting in Barbados

The US Embassy Bridgetown said in a press release, “Over the course of the two-week program, participants from several countries will review the history and importance of press freedom in the United States; examine the structure, practices, and future of broadcast journalism in the United States; illustrate how new technologies shape the way news is gathered, reported, distributed, and consumed; and explore the crucial role of responsibility and accuracy in reporting in a democracy.” I reached out to find out how any of you reading this might qualify for opportunities like this and was advised that participants for this programme are nominated by an Embassy representative (working closely with NGOs, GOs, and various civil society partners; to proactively seek out opportunities). See the Embassy Education and Exchanges link. (Source – ABS TV on instagram and email from the US Embassy in Barbados)

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Jamaican novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn has reportedly inked a deal for her next book. Per Publisher’s Weekly, “Nicole Dennis-Benn sold her new untitled novel to Random House’s Marie Pantojan at auction. Julie Barer at the Book Group represented Dennis-Benn in the North American rights agreement. The novel follows a young Jamaican girl named Faye who grows up with her family in a small coffee-farming village and returns home after a unhappy time as a model to find a community she no longer recognizes. Dennis-Benn is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Here Comes the Sun and Patsy, both published by W.W. Norton’s Liveright imprint. The former, her 2016 debut, was named a New York Times Notable Book and was a finalist for a 2017 Young Lions Fiction Award. Patsy, published in 2019, won a Lambda Literary Award.” (Source – Nicole Dennis-Benn on twitter)

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US-based Jamaican writer Geoffrey Philp will collect the Silver Musgrave medal in November 2022. Per Jamaicans.com, “Awarded annually in recognition of excellence in art, science, and literature, the Musgrave Medal is named in memory of Sir Anthony Musgrave, the founder of the Institute and the former Governor of Jamaica.” Philp’s award is for literature. The author of 12 books, he has another, Archipelagos, forthcoming, and is working ona Marcus Garvey themed graphic novel. (Source – Geoffrey Philp on Twitter)

***

Jamaica has bestowed previously announced national honours on various recipients (143 of them) including a number of people in the arts. The list includes, among others, original Dreamgirls cast member Sheryl Lee Ralph, a veteran actress currently featured in an Emmy award winning role in Abbott Elementary on TV; dancehall artiste Agent Sasco; and jazz pianist Monty Alexander.

(Source – Daily Observer newspaper/Antigua)

***

Jamaican poet Kwame Dawes is the 2022 winner of Narrative magazine’s fourteenth annual poetry contest with The Forgettable Life and Other Poems. Their Fall Story Contest remains open to October 28th 2022. Meanwhile, this is only the recent accolade (after his Emmy, Forward, and Windham Campbell Prize) for the Ghanaian born poet who has spent much of his life in Jamaica and, I believe, is now resident in the US, where he teaches at the MFA level. (Source – Narrative email)

Wadadli Pen Stats

The YouTube channel – traffic is up but subscription could be a lot better. Top content for 2022 so far is 1, AB TODAY BEST of BOOKS International Literacy Day FEATURE, 2, GMAB June 2nd 2021, and, 3, World Book and Copyright Day Chat with Barbadian Author Cherie Jones.

This blog – Site visits are down (no down credited in part to us not having a Challenge this year and to there being fewer new posts overall) and here too subscription/follows could be a lot more. Top content this year has been 1, “Nobody go run me” (a classic by calypsonian Short Shirt from our lyrics page), 2, Antiguan and Barbudan Cultural Icon – Paul King Obstinate Richards (proving that there’s interest in our calypso content), 3, and About WADADLI PEN.

A reminder to engage with and share our content. (Source – in-house)

Books & Other Reading Material

UK writer Ann Morgan has published a new edition, 10 years on from the first, of her book A Year of Reading the World. This new Vintage edition is paperback with a new foreword. Reading the world started out as a project Morgan blogged about during the London Olympics, and here we are. To get primed, you can read about Ann’s project in this previous Wadadli Pen post, and about the first Reading the World book and the Caribbean presence in it here. And remember, like Ann said on Twitter, “Indie bookshops, like indie publishers, are heroes of the book world.” (Source – Ann Morgan on Twitter)

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The winning stories in the 2022 BCLF Elizabeth Nunez Award for Writers in the Caribbean and Caribbean-American Writers have been posted. Ther former is Bahamian writer Alexia Tolas’ “The Fix” and the latter is Haitian-American Yveka Pierre’s “Nadege goes Home”.

Alexia’s “The Fix” was described by judges as “a poetic story which deftly matches form to function with the verse format of the ‘spells’ driving the action forward. This psychological examination of an insecure lover embodies the scale of a fable while delivering an intimacy through the voice of the narrator. The Fix revels in its aurality and orality and delivers a full sensual experience that haunts the reader long after the final sentence.”

Pierre’s “Nadege goes Home”, meanwhile, has been praised for its “use of metaphor [which] invokes the poetry of Haitian Kreyol. The language of the story moves with a rhythm most strongly discernible in its dialogue. Metaphor, language and rhythm combine in this story about siblings to touch deep feelings and create a texture rich with the sense of lived experience.”

Hear more about these stories and other Caribbean literature on the BCLF Cocoa Pod[cast].

Per the BCLF website, “The BCLF Short Fiction Story Contest is an annual writing competition geared towards unearthing and encouraging the distinctive voice and story of the Caribbean-descended writer and expanding the creative writing landscape of Caribbean literature. It aims to provide a conduit through which writers of Caribbean descent find encouragement and empowerment to weave and share their stories. Both of the contest’s prizes are directed to the two distinct voices and perspectives which comprise the Caribbean identity – writers who were born and live in the Caribbean and those who reside in the diaspora.” (Source – BCLF email)

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The latest collection of shortlisted stories from the 2022 Commonwealth Short Story prize is now available to read on Adda. One set is published here and another set is published here. As a reminder Adda has also published the Speak Out! series and I have now published in Blogger on Books my thoughts on Issue 1 of Speak Out! (Source – Commonwealth Foundation email)

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The annual Antigua and Barbuda Conference took place on October 13th and 14th 2022. I was a presenter. You can view my presentation and read the entire presentation on the Appearances page on my Jhohadli blog and/or the New Daughters of Africa Blogger on Books page. (Source – me)

***

Viré: The English Version, a novella by Maëlla K., producer of the Karukerament podcast, hit the marketplace in September 2022.

This is her first novella. (Source – promotional author email)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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End of Year Book Tag (Caribbean)

No you didn’t sleep through the tail end of hurricane season, Independence season (if you’re in Antigua and Barbuda), nor, heaven forbid, Christmas season, but book blogger Kristen Kraves Books has announced this tag and as a Caribbean literary space, we never miss the opportunity to talk books…Caribbean books. So I’ll be answering the tag questions but in Caribbean. Read through and play along.

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

I don’t remember exactly when I started it but I would love to finish Trinidad and Tobago writer Monique Roffey’s The Mermaid of Black Conch. It’s picked up tons of awards, is in translation in many places, is critically acclaimed, is a book I’ve even used in the Jhohadli Writing Project workshop as it has some great craft moments, but, yes, I still need to finish it and I really really want to.

I should finish it at least before the new The Little Mermaid comes out (right?) just so I can check any notion when I write about it (because it feels like one of those books I’ll be wanting to discuss in Blogger on Books) that non-white mermaids do not exist, because in any world where mermaids exist at all, we’ve been there.

ETA: Finished before the end of 2022 and, as promised, discussed in Blogger on Books, my online book review series. Post excerpt: “It’s the paradox of the thing you’re not sure you want, until you have to let it go, a part of your heart breaking at the loss.”

Do you have an autumnal book to transition to the end of the year?

I’m going to interpret this as books with endings since we don’t have autumn in the tropics and I’m going to be very literal about it since I’ve been reading Antiguan-Barbudan writer Gayle Gonsalves My Stories have No Endings, because it’s right there in the title and because I am in sight of the ending. This is an indie which has picked up several indie awards and which I’ve read in waves and stops; hoping to hit another wave.

ETA: Not quite finished as end of year looms (fingers crossed though) but check the Antiguans and Barbudan Awarded page here on the blog to see some of the prizes this indie has picked up.

Is there a New Release you’re still waiting for?

Based on Kristen Kraves Books response, this one is about books that have been announced but are not yet on the market. But I’m going to take the opportunity to boost a recent release from an Anguillan author, Cassilda Brookes who reached out to me recently to share news of the official launch of children’s book Anansi and The Hurricane, which has been in the market since earlier this year.

I met Cassilda when I went to the Anguilla Literary Jollification in 2015 and, a reminder that you never know how your energy is impacting another’s journey, because she said I helped motivate her and I appreciate her saying that. Maybe I needed to hear that. And we stan an Anansi tale in the Caribbean. So much is generational now that I tested this by asking my youngest kid about Anansi recently and, yep, he knew all about the trickster spider so we’re still passing on knowledge of this West African demi-god by continuing to tell our own Anansi tales. This one seems timely too with its focus on hurricane preparedness.

ETA: Want more Anansi? Check out this CREATIVE SPACE on Re-Imagining Anansi, my art and culture column.

What three books you want to finish before the end of the year?

I would like to finish books I’ve started before turning to new books, so I’m going to list three in-progress books. Jamaican writer Curdella Forbes’ Songs of Silence, set so far in rural Jamaica, Reclaim Restore Return: Futurist Tales of the Caribbean edited by Barbadian writer Karen Lord and Grenadian and US and British Virgin Islands author Tobias S Buckell, and Fortune, which is shaping up to be a historical epic beginning in the oil fields of Trinidad, by T & T writer Amanda Smyth.

ETA: I finished Songs of Silence by Curdella Forbes in November 2022 and shared my thoughts in Blogger on Books, but at this writing I’m only up to page 57 in Fortune and am even further behind in Reclaim Restore Return.

Is there a book that could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

I don’t think I’d be shocked but, keeping it Caribbean, I have finished and am working on my review of New Daughters of Africa. This book is almost 800 pages and there were times I thought I wouldn’t finish it. It was a marathon and right now, in addition to the review, I am working on a paper focussed on Caribbean authors in NDOA for the Antigua and Barbuda Conference, organized annually by the Antigua Studies Association, and focussed this year on “The Current State of the Global Black Struggle”. It’s in a couple of weeks. I may be in over my head.

Challenging as this book was in terms of sheer volume, it is easily a top tier read, and, yes, possibly my favourite of the year.

ETA: I did finish it in time and presented at the Antigua and Barbuda Conference in October – I shared my presentation and paper here, and also discuss it in Blogger on Books.

Have you started making reading plans for 2022 2023?

I don’t make reading plans as such, though I do have an ever-growing TBR and do want to get caught up especially on Caribbean releases of the last few years. As there’s lots of exciting new content and I haven’t been able to keep up.

How about you?

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid September 2022)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here – credit and link back if you use).

News

African American actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, daughter of Jamaican designer Ivy Ralph, has won her first Emmy, long overdue after decades in the entertainment industry, for her supporting role on the hit comedy Abbott Elementary. She had words of wisdom for all the dreamers.

Sharing just as much for that reminder “don’t you ever, ever give up on you”, as for the original Dreamgirls’ Caribbean bona fides. (Source – Twitter)

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News of the passing of Britain’s queen, Elizabeth the second, has ignited conversation around the world – certainly it is dominating chatter on western media. There are, of course, the expected condolences, the unfortunate gossip, but as the conversation continues, a re-examination of the relationship between Britain and Commonwealth countries (in this case those in the Caribbean where the relationship was marked by the enslavement of Africans to build British wealth over hundreds of years including colonisation, both on the Continent and in the Caribbean, that continued thereafter in to the late monarch’s reign). It is this latter discourse that landed two prominent Caribbean writers and activists – Jamaican dub poet Mutabaruka and Antiguan and Barbudan writer Dorbrene O’Marde, both active in the push for reparations – in the segment below on the US’ Democracy Now!

Tl; dw? Mutabaruka sums it up with this assertion of what they expect of the new king, Charles: “He must understand how we feel as African people in this part of the world.” (Source – YouTube)

Opportunities

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is now open for submissions. The prize is £2500 pounds for regional winners and £5,000 overall. Winning stories will also be published online and in a special print collection. Judges are looking for “memorable stories, well written stories, stories from places they haven’t heard from before.” The prize is open to any one from a Commonwealth country who is over 18. Previously published stories are not accepted. (Source – Commonwealth Writers on instagram)

See other Opportunities with deadlines here.

Events

Bocas has been marking Trinidad & Tobago’s Independence 60th anniversary celebrations with a series of activities this September, spanning Independence Day, August 31st 2022 to Republic Day, September 24th 2022. Still to come (at this writing) are Voices of History (September 15th 2022), featuring newly commissioned writing telling the stories of “lost voices”; Letters to the Future (September 15th 2022) by 2021 NGC Youth Writer of the Year Harmony Farrell, fiction writer Rashad Hosein, and poet Ronaldo Mohammed; and Coming and Going, a conversation with Barbara Jenkins (The Stranger who was Myself) and Ira Mathur (Love the Dark Days) moderated by Andre Bagoo whose latest book The Dreaming also landed in September. (Source – Bocas email)

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The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival is live this year after two years online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Events will also stream on their YouTube. Here’s the line up:

Friday 9th September 2022 – 6 p.m. – I belong to the House of Music
Saturday 10th September 2022 – 4 p.m. – The Caribbean Pantheon: Goddesses and the Divine in Caribbean Spirituality
Sunday 11th September 2022 – 1 p.m. – Black Powerful – How One Trinidadian Man changed the Landscape of Language Forever
Sunday 11th September 2022 – 4 p.m. – Laureates of the Caribbean – The Rum Bar Lime

Register here. (Source – BCLF email)

Books

I’ll mention the 2021 Perito Prize Anthology for two reasons. One, I have a story in it and I have blogged about the book, which was an interesting read. Also, the deadline for this year’s prize is October 1st, and there’s a cash prize for the winner plus publication for the top entries (not sure if there’s a fixed number). Check it out and see if it’s for you and check out our Opportunities Too page so you don’t miss any submission deadlines. (Source – me & The Practicing Writer Newsletter email)

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Canada-based, Trinidad-born Dionne Brand’s latest book Nomenclature collects eight volumes of her previous works, from 1982 to 2010. It, also, includes a new poem “Nomenclature for the Time Being”. The other big news for the multi-award winning writer is that she is now heading the new publishing imprint at Knopf Canada, Alchemy. Brand’s accolades include the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry and the Trillium Book Award for her 1997 collection Land to Light On. Her collection thirsty won the 2003 Pat Lowther Award. In 2009, she served as the poet laureate of Toronto. Her novel What We All Long For won the City of Toronto Book Award in 2006. She won the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize for Ossuaries and in 2017, she was named to the Order of Canada. Her latest books include the novel Theory and the poetry collection The Blue Clerk, which was a finalist for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry. (Source – JR Lee email)

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The Bread the Devil Knead, shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022, is available in audio book, narrated by the author Trinidad and Tobago writer Lisa Allen-Agostini.

Photo of Lisa Allen-Agostini by Margaret Busby.

The recording was done locally at Future Crab Studios Ltd, is available on Audible, and can be sampled here. (Source – Lisa Allen-Agostini social media)

Accolades

Former West Indies cricket captain, and Antiguan and Barbudan, Richie Richardson, and St. Vincent soca artiste Beckett will receive honorary doctrates at the University of the West Indies Five Islands campus, in Antigua, on October 8th 2022. (Souce – Daily Observer newspaper)

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Martinique-born director Euzhan Palcy will receive the Governor’s Award from the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences in November 2022. She is one of four recipients.

“The Academy’s Board of Governors is honored to recognize four individuals who have made indelible contributions to cinema and the world at large,” said Academy President David Rubin. “Michael J. Fox’s tireless advocacy of research on Parkinson’s disease alongside his boundless optimism exemplifies the impact of one person in changing the future for millions. Euzhan Palcy is a pioneering filmmaker whose groundbreaking significance in international cinema is cemented in film history. Diane Warren’s music and lyrics have magnified the emotional impact of countless motion pictures and inspired generations of musical artists. Peter Weir is a director of consummate skill and artistry whose work reminds us of the power of film to reveal the full range of human experience.” (Oscars.org)

Palcy’s films include César Award winning (for best first film) Sugar Cane Alley, which also won the Silver Lion award at the 1983 Venice Film Festival, a first for a Black director; A Dry White Season, the first major Hollywood film directed by a Black woman; and musical fairytale Siméon. She’s also directed a number of documentaries and television projects. (Source – N/A)

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Congrats to the winners of the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival Elizabeth Nunez short story prize, Bahamaian Alexia Tolas and Yvekia Pierre of Haiti. The latter is the winner of the prize for a Caribbean writer inthe US and the former is Caribbean-based.

Alexia shared her joy on social media: “It’s a winner! I’m so excited and thankful to the organizers and judges for this year’s Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival 🥰. This story is near and dear to my heart – a story nearly five years in the making. It’s changed a lot over time, and sometimes I felt she’d never work, but knowing that someone laughed, someone’s gut pinched, and someone’s arm hair stood up makes it worth the while. I’m honored, and I can’t wait to share this story of love, obsession, and cuckoo soup with you all 😊.” (Source – Alexia Tolas on Facebook)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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ICYMI: Antiguan and Barbudan Artistes Discussing Art

Last year two Antiguan and Barbudan writers – Joanne C. Hillhouse and Rilzy Adams – were among the Caribbean writers of romance interviewed by the podcast Tim Tim Bwa Fik. You can find links to those interviews, both in two parts, in the Wadadli Pen A & B Artistes Discussing Art page – that and a lot more local creatives discussing aspects of their art. It is one of the pages in our R & D that is updated as often as we find new interviews to share. Here are excerpts from the page. Click the page title to read or watch or listen to more.

“When writing, where this was concerned, the one thing that I really wanted it to feel like and be like was Antiguan… I was very intentional with everything from the food choices to the music…but I also wanted them for the most part to be not necessarily heartwarming but …my general brand, for everything I write…Antiguan, full of love, and spicy.”

Rilzy Adams, a past Wadadli Pen finalist and subsequent patron, now romance novelist and lawyer

“Part of it is that I knew that world: I was the girl with the guitar slung over her shoulder, going to practice, playing in the choir, being shy about it, being self-conscious about walking with the guitar..for me the interesting things were the kids discovering their love of art, and discovering their potential within the art space, and connecting with each other through art…”

Joanne C. Hillhouse, Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator, now president of Wadadli Pen inc, author

“I don’t think about it like that. I just tell the story. Sometimes the protagonist is a child, sometimes a teen, sometimes an adult, sometimes an old person, sometimes a jelly fish named Coral.”

Joanne C. Hillhouse, #gyalfromOttosAntigua

“I didn’t know I wanted to tell stories. I knew I wanted to write and I thought I wanted to write about my mother and me, and a lot of my writing is about mother and daughter. But really I could early on see before any critic, I may have pointed it out to critics, that I was really writing about imbalance of power.” 

Jamaica Kincaid, internationally acclaimed, from Ovals, Antigua

“The biggest wall I encountered, not that there weren’t others, but the biggest was my own fear. And once you get through that fear/feeling of will people understand this, will people accept this, are people gonna see my vision, once you go through that then everything else tends to be a lot more easy to deal with.”

Jelani ‘J-Wyze’ Nias, Canadian writer with Antiguan roots
J-Wyze (Jelani Nias)

Remember, to read, watch, or listen to more, go here.

Once you’ve viewed the page (that page, not this one; this is just a sample), link us to any interviews we may have missed by emailing wadadlipen@gmail.com

Also, if you would like to volunteer with Wadadli Pen and help us do what we do (especially if you’re a college student and potential intern), reach out via wadadlipen@gmail.com

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out http://jhohadli.wordpress.com Please note that, except otherwise noted, images on this site also need to be cleared if you wish to use them for any purpose. Thanks.

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Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late July 2022)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here – credit and link back if you use).

Projects

The latest NGC Bocas 100 Caribbean Books that Made Us latest project is a podcast. The first installment finds Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth and Bocas award winning writer Kevin Jared Hosein ruminating on No Pain Like This Body by Harold Sonny Ladoo. Listen here. (Source – Bocas email)

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Antigua Communications Specialist – and former Wadadli Pen judge – Brenda Lee Browne has shared a call for submissions to the Interreg Caraibes Caribbean Digital Film Library project. This project aims to document, digitalise and create a comprehensive digital library of films by and about people living, working, creating in and about the Caribbean. Film in this context includes and is not limited to: family home movies; feature films; documentaries; news clips; special events, interviews etc. These films can be made by amateurs, film makers, individuals, news organisations, sports/community and institutions – no genre or format is excluded. Browne is the inventory officer for Antigua and Barbuda. Her deadline to submit a comprehensive report of what films are available here and if they require special attention due to age, format etc. is August, 2022.

The Interreg CINUCA project is a collaborative project supported by APCAG and their partners: the
EPCC Tropiques Atrium Scène Nationale (Martinique), the association Guyane-Cinéma Audiovisuel et
Multimédia (the G-CAM-Guyane) (French Guiana), the production company Lee Productions Inc.
(Saint Lucia), and the production company Hama Films (Antigua and Barbuda). The project is
co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), under the Interreg V Caribbean
programme. If you have films you’d like added to the library, contact Brenda Lee Browne at brendalee.browne@gmail.com (Source – Brenda Lee Browne email)

A screening of Dr. James Knight’s documentary Nobody Go Run Me at UWI (Mona) in Jamaica.

You may know that I have been building a play and screenwriting data base here on Wadadli Pen, which I will be sharing with Brenda Lee, as I look forward to how this project develops. Remember if we have missed any screenwriting credits in our database, please share.

Opportunities

An Antiguan and Barbudan poet and former Wadadli Pen finalist has an opportunity to pursue further studies and you have an opportunity to help. Her name is Hilesha S. Humphreys and she has received the opportunity to study Ceative Writing at California College of the Arts’ MFA programme. Her writing focuses on abuse and centers the feminine experience. To take advantage of this chance Hilesha is requesting assistance to fund her studies. For more information, please email: hileshashumphreys@gmail.com  

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The Bocas Lit Fest’s Children’s Book Prize, sponsored by the Wainwright Family remains open to Caribbean authors resident anywhere in the world until the end of August. Started last year, the prize is given to one outstanding English-language children’s book for young independent readers. The Prize consists of a cash award of US$1,000. Last year’s winner was When Life gives You Mangoes by Jamaican writer Kereen Getten. The prize is judged by an independent panel of children’s literature experts. The panel is joined by a young reader who will contribute to selecting the winner at the second stage of judging. Eligible are works of fiction (including short story collections and books in verse), literary non-fiction and graphic novels written for independent readers ages 7 – 12 . Works of drama, multiple-author anthologies, picture books, textbooks or instructional manuals are not eligible.  Stories should be told primarily through prose. The book can include illustration, but should not rely primarily on visual storytelling and should have at least 1,500 words. Details here. (Source – Bocas email)

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This one is mine, my Jhohadli Writing Project; specifically, my once-a-month workshop session available to participants from anywhere and ideal for writers with works in progress. So far this year, participants have checked in from the US, Trinidad and Tobago, and Antigua and Barbuda, and participant goals have included advancing and receiving feedback on manuscript in revision, jump starting new writing, and learning more about the world of professional writing. What are your goals?

See this and other pending deadlines at Opportunities Too. (Source – Me)

Accolades

An Antigua Carnival update – Nekirah Nicholls of St. Kitts-Nevis won the Jaycees Caribbean Queen show ahead of runners up Trinidad and Tobago’s Chronna Khan and St. Lucia’s Wenia Verneuil.

Pictures (them in their introductory national costumes and them in their evening gowns during the prize giving) are from the Miss Jaycees Queen Show – JCI Antigua Facebook page. (Source – the Daily Observer newspaper)

***

The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival Elizabeth Nunez prize longlists have, in short order, become one of the most anticipated rollouts of the year if you’re a short story Caribbean or Caribbean diaspora writer. These are the lucky ones in 2022 (Congrats to them all):

For the Caribbean prize (for Caribbean-based Caribbean writers)# – Bahamian Sara Bastien (“The Girl with Your Grandmother’s Eyes”) and Alexia Tolas (“The Fix”); Barbadian Martin Michael Boyce (“In the Secrets Place”), Callie Browning (“The Science of Garbage”), and Gregory Anderson Fitt (“Don’t Cry Precious Baby”); Bermudian Yesha Townsend (“Fishing”); Guyanese Jarryl Bryan (“Shemroy Cusbert”) and Cosmata Lindie (“Starchild”); Dominican/Kittitian-Nevisian Yakima Cuffy (“The Eleventh”); Jamaican Topher Allen (“A Familiar Friction”), Kellie Martine Magnus (“One for the Books”), Tonia Revers (“Hear Yah Now: Conversations”), Damion Spence (“Bull Buck and Duppy Conqueror”), Chaneka Taylor (“Salted Wounds”), and Stacy ann Williams-Smith (“Rio Cobre”); St. Lucian Alicia Valasse-Polius (“Beekeepers”); St. Vincent and Grenadinian Janielle Browne (“The Saddest Part”) and Denise Westfield (“The Valley”); Trinidad and Tobagonian Patti-Ann Ali (“Marley in a Maxi”), Lisa Allen-Agostini (“Meeting Beverley Jones”), Kirk Bhajan (“The La Diablesse of Ecclessville”), Christie Borely (“They lived Together”), Vishala Christopher (“Jumbie like Long Hair”), Rachel Espinet (“Davindra and the buck”), Lynette Hazel (“02.12.20 (Jumbie Make to walk the Road)”), Caroline Mackenzie (“Girls in the Dark”), Brandon McIvor (“Red Hand on a Smoking Gun”), Charmaine Rosseau (“A Real Place”), Portia Subran (“Please Take One”), Kwame Weekes (“Green Thumb”), and Sunil Whittle (“Rockette”).

For the Caribbean American Prize (for US-based Caribbean writers) – Barbadian Elizabeth Best (“Soup on Sunday”) and Rachelle F. Gray (“Peter 3:15”); Dominican Republican El Don (“Amaris Castillo”); Guyanese Elesa Chan (“Jumbie”); Haitian Yvika Pierre (“Nadege goes Home”); Jamaican Jazz Sanchez (“Cook Soup”); *Nicaraguan Marilyn Enriquez (“Devil’s Hole”); St. Lucian Catherine Esther Cowie (“Who wants to look like a Frenchman?”); Trinidad and Tobagonian Keisha Ali (“Uniform”) and Tricia Chin (“Genesis”).

*Nicaragua, I have learnt, despite being Central American, has a major Caribbean influence on its Atlantic coast – including Afro-descendant English speaking Caribbean towns and indigenous (e.g. garifuna) communities.

(Source – BCLF Facebook)

***

Artistic director with the The Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts in the Bahamas for 40+ years, Philip A. Burrows, has been awarded the Order of Merit in the country’s 2022 Independence Honours list. Burrows has directed well over 100 productions, taught acting workshops, and written for the theatre; and is notably a founding member of Ringplay Productions and co-founder of the Shakespeare in Paradise theatre festival. Burrows has presented a number of Bahamian productions in the US, UK and throughout the Caribbean, and directed a number of National Events, from Cacique Awards to Independence shows, and both productions honouring Sir Sidney Poitier. There may be other people in Bahamas arts on the list – congrats to all. (Source – Facebook)

Content

You may know that this website tries to archive published reviews of books and other applicable content by Antiguans and Barbudans. The latest installment in this series includes reviews of my books Musical Youth (“a wonderful read” – RunWrightReads, “beautiful book” – Book of Cinz), The Jungle Outside (“masterful use of sensory details” – ACalabash), and (surprisingly) Oh Gad! (“an expansive page-turner” – ACalabash)as well as of the film The Sweetest Mango (“avante garde” – Karukerament), our first feature length film, and Pepperpot, a regional anthology in which I have a story, “Amelia at Devil’s Bridge” (“will make you shiver” – The Opinionated Reader). You can help build this and all of our data bases in two ways – applying to volunteer as a social media intern and sending us tips (and practicing patience when you do). (Source – Me)

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My CREATIVE SPACE art and culture series continues its every other Wednesday publishing schedule in the Daily Observer newspaper and online with extras at my Jhohadli blog. At this writing, the most recent installment asks “Do You know this Man?” while showcasing the careers of 1940s town crier and calypso pioneer Quarkoo and his all but forgotten 1800s to 1900s predecessor Thomas Joseph.

Working on this story, I am reminded of a friend’s feeling about firsts – that often someone did it before, we just don’t know or don’t remember.

(A humbling example of which for me is when years after I started Wadadli Pen certain I was doing something that hadn’t been done as there had been nothing like Wadadli Pen in my becoming, which was why I started it in the first place, I found out, on discovery of the 1979 publication Young Antiguans Write: Prize-winning Selections in Poetry and Prose from School Creative Writing Annual Competition, 1968-1978 , that an annual writing challenge for and publication of youth writing in Antigua and Barbuda for the primary purpose of literary development, was not new. Probably wasn’t new then. It only felt like I was inventing not reinventing the wheel because the car had broken down and been left to rot at the side of the road. I don’t know quite what happened but I do not remember this or any programme of this type (not counting Independence and Tourism essay competitions) existing as I came of age and came in to being as a writer in the 80s nor through my young adulthood in the 90s. And while this could very well be my ignorance, I had not even heard of it. This realisation in part fuels my motivation – though I don’t have institutional resources behind me as that project did – to create a record of our literary history and to not to be another start-and-stop-did-it-even-happen local arts initiative – there’ve been a few, stalled mostly due to lack of resources – but to find a way to keep it going with or without me, which is one reason I pushed for us to become a legal non-profit, daunting as that process has proven to be).

So, in the vein of things being lost, some of Thomas Joseph’s legacy has been folded in to Quarkoo’s, some has been all but erased. Notably, his authorship of “Man Mongoose” – a song popularized as “Sly Mongoose”, that was first recorded in Trinidad, and is thus credited as such, a song that has since been reproduced in many different genres and formats over the years and across the world. I must give credit to American researcher Dan Lanier, who on seeing my Quarkoo post on this site, reached out to ask me about Thomas Joseph and connected me to more about both men than I had previously known. This is one of my favourite CREATIVE SPACE articles of the year because of the connections it makes on and off the page; I hope you’ll give it a read. And if there’s to be intra-island beef over the authorship of “Sly Mongoose”, make it tasty. (Source – Me)

Events

The Antigua Jazz Project has announced a concert, “A Night for Statchel” Version 3.0, Vince McCoy and Friends, featuring Khadijah Simon and Mind Sound, Acoustic Infusion, and The Antigua Jazz Project. It’s 7 p.m. at Pink Mongoose Studio on Friars Hill Road on August 6th 2022. Proceeds in aid of the St. John’s Hospice and Asita Ngash. (Source – postcard picked up at Best of Books bookstore)

***

No Panorama? No Problem! The Caribbean Union Bank Hells Gate Steel Orchestra presents it’s “Pan Rhapsody” competition on Saturday 6th August at the Villa Primary School, Antigua. 4 Groups, with up and coming Arrangers will contest this musical showdown.

(Source – Hell’s Gate on Facebook)

***

Jamaica and specifically reggae and specifically Bob Marley is now in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and specifically the Black Panther verse with the release of the first trailer for the second Black Panther film: Wakanda Forever. The music featured is Marley’s “No Woman No Cry”, sung by Nigerian vocalist Sems, seamlessly segueing in to US rapper Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright”. Of course, the box office breaking, critically acclaimed, and popularly embraced, rare Black-centered series already had a Caribbean presence with Tobagonian Winston Duke as Mbaku and Letitia Wright, Shuri, being Guyanese.

***

Book of Cinz – a Caribbean book platform whose initiatives include a global Caribbean-focussed virtual book club and the #readCaribbean hashtag which promos the reading of Caribbean books in June – is having its first reading retreat in Dominica, with less than a handful of spots available. It will be at SeaCliff Cottages between October 15th and 20th 2022. Secure your spot here. (Source – Book of Cinz email)

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We are all invited to listen in on The Caribbean Development Bank funded Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund Creative Talks on Festival Futures in the Caribbean.

(Source – CIIF email)

***

It being Carnival season in Antigua, there will be a steady stream of events in the latter part of July in to early August. I can’t report on them all but I’ll share what I can, especially the new and unusual. Like the July 22nd 2022 Band Meet Band Showdown at Carnival City. It seems to be a project of the Antigua and Barbuda Jam Band and Soca Association and the Ministry of Creative Industries and Innovation. The listed line-up includes Sir Oungku and Red Hott Flames, Daddy Barlo and Revo Band, TKO Band featuring Laurena Davis and Ebony T, Byke and Enegee Band, High Tempa, and more. (Source – DJ Ibis on Instagram) & this massive event honouring the Monarch King Short Shirt:

(Source – Facebook)

***

This event is passed but if you’re a regular here you know that won’t stop me from mentioning it, plus it continues to make news. Dotsie Isaac has donated proceeds from her showcase “Senses: an Evening of Poetry and Music” to the Antigua and Barbuda Heart and Stroke Foundation. Isaac, a former Wadadli Pen judge, has also revealed plans to make “Senses” an annual event.

Poet Dotsie Isaac is seen in this Laura Hall photo participating in a joint Wadadli Pen-Museum fundraiser (Word Up!) in 2006. Isaac has also served as a judge (2011) and as a special guest at the awards ceremony (2015).

(Source – Daily Observer/Antigua)

***

July 20th 2022 is the red-carpet, invitation-only premiere of documentary film Redonda: the Road to Recovery. Wide public screenings begin at Caribbean Cinemas on July 21st (image from Lawson Lewis’ facebook) with advance tickets of only $5 available at the Environmental Awareness Group office or online via the Ticketing app. The doc which is about the recovery of the Antigua and Barbuda offshore island was teased when I interviewed director Lawson Lewis in May 2022 for my CREATIVE SPACE series.

Lawson Lewis on the job.

(Source – Daily Observer newspaper/Antigua)

***

July 29th 2022 is African Dress Day in Antigua and Barbuda, the kick-off of the Reparations Support Commission’s Emancipation Day celebrations. The highlight of the celebrations will be, per usual going back 14 years, Watch Night. Date and venue is July 31st the Botanical Gardens. It will be a night of cultural performances, including staples the Nyabinghi drummers and various singers, dancers, and more.

Calypsonian/calypso writer King Zacari, seen here performing at the NVSP awards years ago, is one of the announced performers at this year’s Watch Night. (File photo by Joanne C. Hillhouse/do not reuse without permission or credit)

(Source – Daily Observer newspaper/Antigua)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late June 2022)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here).

OPPORTUNITIES

The Bocas Lit Fest Children’s Book Prize is back. It is given to one outstanding English-language children’s book for young independent readers, written by a Caribbean author. The Prize consists of a cash award of US$1,000, and Caribbean-born authors, resident anywhere in the world, of English-language books which have been published between 1 August 2021 and 31 August 2022 are eligible. The prize is open for entries from 20 June 2022 to 31 August 2022, and the winner will be announced in November 2022. The 2022 prize is administered by the Bocas Lit Fest, and is sponsored by the Wainwright family. Read about this and other opportunities with pending deadlines in Opportunities Too here. (Source – Bocas email)

STAGE

Late Bahamian-American actor and director Sidney Poitier’s life is being adapted for the stage. The source material will be his memoir The Measure of a Man. Poitier spent his youth on Cat Island in the Bahamas before migrating to the US in young adulthood and going on to a stellar career, which includes being the first Black man and only the second Black person to win an Academy Award when he won best actor in 1963 for his performance in Lilies of the Field. Poitier died in January of this year. (Source – The Root)

VISUALS

Barbados has tapped star architect David Adjaye (the Ghanaian-British architect responsible for designing the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.) to design its Barbados Heritage District as a testament to the island nation’s culture and identity. Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced the plan, which is to include a memorial, a global research institute, and a museum that will tell the story of slavery’s impact on Barbados and its inhabitants. The district will also house the Barbados Archives, a massive historical catalogue documenting 400 years of the slave trade in tens of millions of pages of documents. The archive, which includes sales ledgers, ship registers, manumission papers, and other documents, is one of the largest repositories of the British Transatlantic Slave Trade in the entire world. When complete, the center will be the first research institute based in the Caribbean dedicated to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. (It would be remiss of me, however, not to mention the African Slavery Memorial Project of Antigua and Barbuda which has been shared on this site before, including its plans for construction of a museum, also previously mentioned on the site). The first step in the development of the district in Barbados will be the building of the Newton Enslaved Burial Ground Memorial next to the site where the remains of 570 West African slaves were found in low earthen mounds and graves using LIDAR technology in the 1970s. Read more about the memorial which breaks ground in November 2022 here. (Source – friend in real life)

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Barbadian visual artist Sheena Rose will be showing in ‘Holy Water’, an exhibition at the Eric Firestone Gallery in East Hampton, NY. The Zoe Lukov curated exhibition featuring 20 artists and exploring the mundane and mythological aspects of water. The show opens July 2nd and closes July 24th 2022. (Source – artist’s facebook)

EVENTS

Early in June, the organizers of the St. Martin Book Fair observed the 20th anniversary of the festival. Shujah Reiph, founder and coordinator (with Conscious Lyrics Foundation), said, “The journey that we began 20 years ago out of a Creative Writing Program organized by the House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP)not only gave birth to the book fair but to a new generation of St. Martin authors, many of whom contributed with youthful exuberance to the organization of the St. Martin Book Fair. We have had a symbiotic collaboration with HNP from the get-go. And with the University of St. Martin (USM) as
well. Our modest ambition was to have a book fair that would bring the entire family closer to the book and,among other things, show as a lie the saying that if you want to hide something from a Black person, put it in a book.” Activities at the popular event included author and publicist roundtables, readings, masterclass, exhibition, and more featuring Yvonne Weekes, Sharma Taylor, Lasana M. Sekou, Max Rippon, N. C. Marks, Yona Deshommes, among others. (Source – House of Nehesi Publishers email)

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The Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra, a youth development non-profit music programme in Antigua and Barbuda is preparing (at this writing) for a musical event featuring movie theme songs. The event is scheduled for July 3rd 2022. Event details here.

(Source – Facebook)

FAREWELLS

I keep changing this sub-head title, not quite knowing what’s a fitting send-off, always wishing I didn’t have the need to include it. This is where we salute the ones who have impacted Caribbean art and culture, and there have been too many of these farewells by COVID and other means – but exacerbated by the pandemic – in recent years.

Renowned Antiguan and Barbudan pannist Victor ‘Babu’ Samuel has died. He passed on June 28th 2022, two years after a stroke diminished his capacity to function. Babu is one of our country’s most celebrated pan arrangers – notably for his work with one of the winningest pan orchestras, Halcyon (video link to an upload of the 1990 panorama tune arranged by Babu on the Halcyon Orchestra facebook page). He has also been a key figure in pan development through his work with the National Youth Pan Orchestra. His work bringing pan to the Police Marching Band was also acknowledged just this year. Babu was also well known as a pan soloist – regrettably I have not been able to find video of a Babu performance (and once again bemoan our failure to capture and catalogue the vibrancy of our Culture as a matter of intent/purpose). The last time I saw Babu was just before COVID at Carnival, a year in which Halcyon – again one of Antigua’s winningest pan orchestras – had to opt out of panorama due to lack of funds (at least that’s what he said to me when I asked him as we passed each other on Market Street during the Carnival parade). I don’t have a recent interview with Babu (whom I profiled years ago for a limited run newspaper column I called Vintage – there’s a lot from my archives that I need to dig through and share and this is one of them) but credit to Petra the Spectator for posting this interview with him in 2021.

Credit also to rival band Hell’s Gate for recently organizing Play one for Babu, fundraising concerts that were also a celebration of the art form that Babu loved so much. Catch the vibes (image borrowed from Hell’s Gate’s facebook page).

(Source – Observer Media by Newsco Ltd facebook page)

***

Lynn Sweeting of the Bahamas is known to us here on the Wadadli Pen blog. I posted an interview with her in 2012. She was committed to amplifying female Caribbean voices, our art and our words, and did via the Womanspeak journal.

Some of Lynn’s poetry has been shared by her friend Nicolette Bethel who edited and published the online Tongues of the Ocean literary journal. You can read her eulogy and the poems here. And like Lynn wrote in one of those poems, remember

“Fear is the meaning of their favorite song,
but not the meaning of yours.
Love up your own self fearlessly.”
(from ‘Wheelbarrow Woman’, Tongues of the Ocean, 2009)

The last Womanspeak was published in 2018 and I know at least one was in the works after that and had to take a pause, and maybe now a full stop, in light of everything. (Source – Nicolette Bethel on Linkedin)

***

Antigua and Barbuda is mourning the passing of prominent son Gordon ‘Banks’ Derrick. Though he is best known for his contributions in sports administration (as president of the Caribbean Football Union and general secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association) and business, I add him here for the reason Cricket Association head Leon ‘Kuma’ Rodney said.

“Banks was not only known in football, but he was a Carnival man and came out of one of the better organised promotion groups, DSC Promotions, and there was a Mas’ troupe as well in Xtreme. He was chairman of the soca monarch when, I think, we had one of the biggest soca monarch shows ever in Antigua under the chairmanship of his buddy, Neil Cochrane.”

Signature DSC events included pre-Carnival fetes before pre-Carnival fetes (not including calypso tents) were their own cottage industry, notably Calypso Spektakula, which launched in the mid-1990s. He chaired the Party Monarch committee during its upsurge (between 2005-2007) to the head of the pack as far as popularity of main show Carnival events are concerned. He’s also a former chair of the Independence committee and co-founder of one of the original all-inclusive party mas bands, a pressure point between mas’ past and current flavours, Xtreme mas, which first hit the road in the late 1990s. I remember, I was there, for Spektakula limes and that first year of Xtreme. Banks’ death caught the community by surprise, prompting former West Indies cricket legend and fellow Antiguan and Barbudan Sir Vivian Richards to say, “It’s just some sad news today and I am going to agree with the rock group that sang ‘I don’t like Mondays’ because it’s a punch that hits you where it hurts.” (Source – Observer Radio 91.1 FM)

BOOKS

Puerto Rican writer Xavier Navarro Aquino in January 2022 released his debut novel Velorio with Harper Collins press. Velorio–meaning “wake”–is a story of strength, resilience, and hope; a tale of peril and possibility buoyed by the deeply held belief in a people’s ability to unite against those corrupted by power.

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Fashanu Henry-Giddings has published her book Reading is Fun & Andre and the Bully. It’s her first book and it’s been added to the Children’s Literature and Antiguan and Barbudan Writing listings here on the blog. Congrats to her and to illustrator Anderson Andrews. (Source – email)

ACCOLADES

A street in Harlem has been renamed for founder of the Antigua Progressive Society Bishop James P. Roberts Sr. He worked as an elevator operator while pursuing studies at night after migrating to the US. He and 22 fellow Antiguans (Barbudans were later brought in) founded the group in 1934 during the Great Depression, to provide support for new immigrants. The Society has owned the brownstone at 12 West and 122nd Street where it is still headquartered since 1964. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

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Canada based Jamaican writer and current poet laureate Olive Senior has received an honorary doctor of laws from Canada’s York University. “Nothing has prepared us for the moment, but we can seize it with courage and curiosity,” Senior said during the convocation ceremony. (Source – author’s twitter)

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The Antigua Film Academy, the educational arm of the Motion Picture Association of Antigua and Barbuda, has had a short film, ‘Nobody hit me Pickney’, accepted to the Commffest Film Festival, September 15 – 22 2022, in Toronto, Canada. The script was reportedly developed by the Academy students during their two-week theory workshops and filmed over a period of time. Dr. Noel Howell, filmmaker and head of the Film Academy told the Daily Observer that the mix of practical and theory is part of the AFA’s summer workshops. The workshop’s 2022 dates are July 11 – 22. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

***

Canadian writer and producer of Antiguan-Barbudan descent Motion (Wendy Brathwaite) and Andrew Trotman-Burrows who is of Guyanese descent are two of only three people selected for the inaugural CBC-BIPOC TV & film showrunner catalyst programme. The other is Tanzania-born Ian Iqbal Rashid who is of Indian descent. The Showrunner Catalyst offers a high-level professional coaching opportunity, designed through an anti-racist and equity-focused lens, and provides participants with additional tools and support systems necessary to reach a showrunner level in the Canadian film and television industry. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, BIPOC TV & Film and the Canadian Film Center have made an initial commitment of three years to the program, with the opportunity to renew. (Source – BIPOC TV & Film on Linkedin)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Antiguan-Barbudan Writer, Wadadli Pen Founder to Read at World Poetry Festival – How to Watch

To Watch – Click the Image and set your reminder where ever you are.

August 10th 2021 – 8 p.m. if you’re in Antigua and Barbuda and/or the Atlantic Standard Time (AST) time zone.

Please double check the time where you are by doing the time zone conversion – isn’t google great!

Related links:

Programme – 31st Festival Internacional de Poesia de Medellin

Joanne C. Hillhouse – Antigua Y Barbuda – presentation samples

Jhohadli – Appearances

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on AmazonWordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, Wadadli Pen News